Number of Filipinos suffering from gout hits 1.6 M

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Rheumatology Association (PRA) expressed concern over the rising number of Filipinos suffering from gout, a painful form of arthritis that could gravely affect a person’s quality of life.

According to PRA president Eric Amante, there are now some 1.6 million Filipinos with gout and the figure is expected to increase in the coming years due to the unhealthy lifestyle of people.

“It’s 1.6 million but if you look at the prevalence in the Philippines, it’s increasing in the past two decades. We have a lot of young breadwinners who have gout and I think it is very important to remember that this is a chronic illness,” he said during the launch of the PRA Gout Awareness Campaign.

PRA describes gout as an “episodic, severely painful form of inflammatory arthritis due to increased uric acid.”

Amante noted that it is more common among men due to some lifestyle issues like drinking alcohol and a diet high in purine like innards.

Gout is not fatal but it could gravely affect one’s quality of life. During gout attacks, pain is extreme.

He said that gout could lead to absence at work, anger, depression and overall poor quality of life.

Chronic gout could lead to kidney stones, joint erosion and deformities and even kidney failure.

Amante said that there are drugs that could cause gout like aspirin, diuretics and those for tuberculosis. There are painkillers, on the other hand, that could lead to kidney ailments.

“We encourage the public to visit a rheumatologist, aside from their usual physicians. Gout can be controlled easily with medication and proper treatment and diet. We can normalize the uric acid,” he added.

source: Philippine Star